When cornerback Jaylon Johnson started his already-shortened rookie training camp with limited reps, it seemed like a certainty that he wouldn't be ready to start Week 1 in Detroit. Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano even said that Johnson was "starting behind the 8-ball" and that rookies had "a lot of catching up to do," later suggesting that team's cornerback depth allowed them to bring Johnson along slowly.
Fast forward a few weeks, and the Bears are singing a different tune. The team's been impressed with what they've seen since Johnson became a full participant, and Matt Nagy's comments on the rookie from Monday night sure make it seem like Johnson's on the inside track for CB2 in Detroit:
Buster Skrine, Kevin Toliver, and Kindle Vildor have all cycled through reps with the first team while Johnson's ramped up. The Bears would probably prefer not to use their starting nickel corner on the outside (plus, defensive line coach Jay Rodgers said that the defense is only in base "25 to 35 percent" of the time) and neither Toliver or Vildor has put much of a claim on that spot in Johnson's absence. After all the concern, Johnson may end being a Week 1 starter after all.